Does your company currently offer paid time off to your employees? This is a great benefit, but it can be hard to determine how to structure a plan that is competitive, yet not too burdensome on your company. The Society for Human Resources Management recently conducted a survey that provides some insight into what some companies are offering. About one-third of the respondents were from companies with less than 100 employees. Here are some highlights from their findings:

About half of the respondents offer either paid time off (PTO) or paid vacation time.  About one-third offer paid sick time.

About 90% of respondents structured their plans so that employees were rewarded with more vacation days as their years of service increased.  The average number of vacation days per year for an employee that had been with a company for one year was ten, while sixteen days was the average for employees with five to nine years of service.

The study also found that many companies are beginning to offer paid time off (PTO), instead of vacation time and sick time.  This allows employees to use their time off for any purpose, which many employees appreciate because it gives them greater flexibility.  Critics argue that employees on PTO plans tend to view all of their time off as vacation time and, therefore, don’t take time off when they are sick, which leads to illness spreading throughout the office.

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